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An Empirical Study on Views of Importance of Change Impact Analysis Issues

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3 Author(s)
Rovegard, P. ; Ericsson AB, Karlskrona ; Angelis, L. ; Wohlin, C.

Change impact analysis is a change management activity that previously has been studied much from a technical perspective. For example, much work focuses on methods for determining the impact of a change. In this paper, we present results from a study on the role of impact analysis in the change management process. In the study, impact analysis issues were prioritised with respect to criticality by software professionals from an organisational perspective and a self-perspective. The software professionals belonged to three organisational levels: operative, tactical and strategic. Qualitative and statistical analyses with respect to differences between perspectives as well as levels are presented. The results show that important issues for a particular level are tightly related to how the level is defined. Similarly, issues important from an organisational perspective are more holistic than those important from a self-perspective. However, our data indicate that the self-perspective colours the organisational perspective, meaning that personal opinions and attitudes cannot easily be disregarded. In comparing the perspectives and the levels, we visualise the differences in a way that allow us to discuss two classes of issues: high-priority and medium-priority. The most important issues from this point of view concern fundamental aspects of impact analysis and its execution.

Published in:

Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 4 )